A cache of aging, weapon-usable uranium is not the only atomic material the Energy Department wants to ship from Tennessee to Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Wednesday.
DOE officials plan in 2015 to send additional amounts of unwanted uranium from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and plutonium power supplies from NASA are also on the docket for eventual interment at the Nevada National Security Site, Representative Dina Titus (D-Nev.) said on Tuesday.
“This is not just a couple of trucks,” Titus said. “This is a long-term project they have in mind.”
The lawmaker said a plan to ship the material under the Energy Department's Secure Transportation Office means that Nevada officials will not receive any information on the timing or route of the transfers.
That “takes away any oversight, any decisions, any information out of the hands of the state,” Titus argued. “It is totally secure but they can’t tell us where it is going. That means it could come through the heart [of Las Vegas]."
Until Nevada politicians protested plans for the initial uranium transfer, the Energy Department believed the arrangement had been finalized last year.
“The delay now is costing us quite a bit of money,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. He refused to specify the exact amount.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.